A Path From Travesty to Truth in Congressional Hearings

Politicians should let go of their egos (on both sides of the aisle) and drop the need to demonstrate they are somebody. Let go of the need for theater and to hear the sound of their own voices. The leaders of both sides of the aisle should come together and decide that the time at these type of committee hearings should be spent in an earnest search for the truth. And once some of that truth is revealed, let the American public decide for themselves, and then everyone can figure out how to address the needs and problems.

So my proposal would be for each side of the aisle to cede their questioning to one very qualified person to methodically go through a real question and answer period with whomever is testifying. Let each side have a couple hours to try and uncover what the truth might be, and let someone like Secretary Sebelius have time to answer questions. This would give much more time for follow-ups, and Sebelius might be freed to actually give thoughtful answers to questions without worrying about the PR of the answer.

Just a thought, but it seems to me both political parties, the media and the American public would benefit more from this type of exchange. It might not take the grandstanding totally out of it, but at least by giving all the time to two knowledgeable folks to ask the questions, we might actually stumble onto the truth more often. And people in Washington might realize that most wisdom is gained through the ears and not the mouth.

There you have it.

Matthew Dowd is an ABC News analyst and special correspondent.

Opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of ABC News.

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